Good read on my current mancrush from the latest issues of Details.
“Fuck. You. Motorcycles,” Jon Hamm says in a low, grinning growl. The delivery is pure Don Draper, but the guy behind the wheel is looking a whole lot more laid-back in his madras shorts, Wayfarers, and beat-up St. Louis Cardinals cap than his tortured television alter ego ever does.
It’s a sunny summer day in Malibu, the kind that makes any trip up the Pacific Coast Highway feel like a car commercial or a scene from a jubilant surf movie. Or that’s how it would feel if this pack of leather-trousered bikers would kindly unclog the road. The moment there’s an opening between the hogs, Hamm hits the accelerator and we take off, a silver blur hurtling toward Oxnard. The blur, in case you can’t make it out, is a not-yet-released gullwing SLS AMG, on loan from the good folks at Mercedes-Benz.
This is, as Hamm notes, a “bizarrely lunatic car.” It’s insanely fast. “That was 140,” he says calmly as he eases back down to a reasonable, autobahn-worthy pace. Hamm recently became the voice of Mercedes, lending his sonorous, all-comforting, all-promising pitchman’s authority to its TV spots.
“It’s funny, right? Kind of this weird synergy,” Hamm says, alluding to the fact that the role he’s most identified with—Don Draper, the powerful and powerfully conflicted master of advertising on AMC’s Mad Men—has now led to an actual gig selling cars.
“It’s strange, but it’s good for me. I vote yes.”
There’s also this interesting insight into Hamm’s comedic sensibility from Sarah Silverman:
“It’s funny,” Hamm says. “You realize certain people didn’t know I was funny because they only saw me through Mad Men—or only knew me as me and never thought I could do Mad Men. Sarah Silverman said, ‘Hammy, you’re good. I had no idea!'” Silverman met Hamm in 2000 through a group of friends, including Rudd, Adam Scott, and Jon Schroeder, who all played poker together. “When I tuned in to Mad Men, I couldn’t believe he was this smoldering, brooding sexual man,” Silverman says. “I was like, ‘Oh my God—that’s Hamm!’ To me, he’s just this super-silly idiot.
“He’s one of the very few actors who are comedian-compatible,” she continues. “Not to sound elitist—I just mean he’s one of us misfit toys.” Silverman proves this by pointing out her minor but important contribution to Hamm’s career. “Before Mad Men, he played a cable guy on my show on Comedy Central. He had one scene. On his jacket, just small enough that you can’t read it on TV, it says: EATIN’ ALL THE PUSSY SINCE ’92.”
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